American Airlines Change for Good FAQs
American Airlines and UNICEF USA have worked together to support UNICEF’s work since 1994 through fundraising and engaging AA employees and customers about UNICEF’s mission.
Information last updated November 8, 2021
Find program, resources, impact and collection updates, and submit your Change for Good stories and questions using these official links:
Facebook public page: facebook.com/championsforchildren
Facebook private group: UNICEF Champions for Children
American Airlines Jetnet
UNICEF USA website: Champions for Children microsite: unicefusa.org/champions
UNICEF USA website: American Airlines profile: unicefusa.org/americanairlines
UNICEF USA website: American Airlines donation form: unicefusa.org/aa
Change for Good is a partnership between UNICEF and the international airline industry that was formed in 1987 to help raise money in support of UNICEF’s work around the world. Through this partnership, airline employees provide opportunities for passengers to learn about UNICEF and to donate their extra U.S. and foreign currencies during certain flights to support UNICEF’s programs for children.
Change for Good is one of UNICEF's best-known and longest-running partnerships. The ten international airlines currently participating have raised more than $174 million since launch.
American Airlines is the only U.S. airline that participates in the Change for Good program, raising $17 millionsince it joined the program in 1994. The other participating airlines are Aer Lingus, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific Air, easyJet, Hainan Airlines, Japan Airlines, QANTAS and Tianjin Airlines.
Since 1994, American Airlines Champion for Children employees have raised over $17 million through UNICEF’s Change for Good program — collecting donations on flights and in Admiral Club lounges in support of children globally. Read more about the specific programs and emergency responses that this funding has supported.
Through UNICEF's Change for Good program, American Airlines flight attendants can volunteer as “Champions for Children,” collecting foreign and domestic currency contributions from American Airlines customers on all inbound and outbound international and Hawaii flights.
For more information, visit the Champions for Children microsite.
Visit Jetnet and elect Flight Service / Helpful Links / Champions for Children / Register Now; complete the registration form.
Current Champions are encouraged to recruit their colleagues. Consult these resources for talking points, tools and guidance on recruiting or refer colleagues to the following sources for more info:
UNICEF Change for Good and American Airlines Champions for Children recruitment video
Champions for Children microsite
American Airlines partner page
For program security and integrity, non-Champions for Children cannot collect donations in-flight. However, registering to become a Champion for Children is quick and easy (see above).
First, check out the Resources and FAQ page for PA cards, protocol, donation deposit locations and talking points. Then, you can start collecting on all international and Hawaii flights with Change for Good collection bags.
All types of cash currencies are acceptable for donation. Passengers can donate by writing a personal check, linked to a U.S.-based bank, made out to UNICEF USA.
What percentage of every dollar raised through Change for Good on American Airlines supports UNICEF’s programmatic work?
For every dollar donated, nearly 90 cents go directly towards helping children. Only 10 cents go towards fundraising and administrative costs. Visit the UNICEF USA Finance webpage to learn more.
Change for Good PAs in multiple languages are available on the UNICEF USA Champions for Children microsite under Resources and FAQ, the flight attendant tablet using the path Document Library / UNICEF / UNICEF PAs or the Flight Service website under Manuals and Guides / UNICEF Translations.
The UNICEF Collection Video provides highlights from recent visits by Champions for Children to countries where UNICEF works and a glimpse at some of the UNICEF programs that passenger donations help fund. Champions should introduce the video at the end of the PA. The video plays over the PA and the main overhead monitors on all video-equipped aircrafts.
767/757/737 IFE System: on the IFE screen, select Video PA. Scroll down the title menu, select UNICEF Collection Video. Select language (English) and press Play. Make sure the overhead monitors are turned on in all cabins.
777-200/300: on the IFE screen, select Video Announcements. Select the Overhead button. Scroll down the title menu, select UNICEF Collection Video and press Play.
For non-video equipped aircrafts, in the flight attendant tablet, select Document Library / UNICEF / Change for Good PA.
What if I can’t show the UNICEF Collection Video because the aircraft has no video capability, or the video is not working?
For non-video equipped aircrafts with no overhead monitor to show the UNICEF Collection Video, Champions should still read the Change for Good PA.
Champions for Children do not need the official permission of the purser to show the video or to collect donations. However, as a courtesy, please inform the purser that you are a registered Champion for Children, plan on making a Change for Good announcement and collection and would like to coordinate a collection time.
What do I do if the purser on my flight tells me I cannot collect for Change for Good because he or she personally does not support the program or does not approve of collections on morning arrivals?
If a purser tries to prevent a Champion for Children from collecting for Change for Good on a flight, the Champion should kindly inform the purser that American Airlines protocol allows for Change for Good collections on flights to and from Hawaii and abroad.
However, if a purser asks a Champion on an early morning arrival not to make the Change for Good PA in the First-Class cabin (in an aircraft with separate PA systems for each cabin), then the Champion should comply with this request.
For early morning arrivals on aircrafts with only one PA system for all cabins, a Champion can suggest making a Change for Good PA directly following the captain or purser’s 30-minutes-to-landing PA, when people are already awake.
If a purser continues to challenge a Champion, the Champion should contact Professional Standards by calling +1 817 540 0108 or submitting a report through aa.ethicspoint.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Champion can also direct the purser to contact Professional Standards with any questions. Inquirers can request to keep their identity anonymous.
Registered Champions for Children can pick up collection bags at the Crew Service Center at participating Change for Good bases.
Deposit collection bags in the UNICEF safe at base. The safe locations at each base are listed on your AA Tablet: Document Library / UNICEF / Safe Locations.
Champions for Children must mark their collection bag with their registered base — regardless of the deposit base — before depositing the bag in the safe.
When depositing collections, Champions must follow the required Buddy Witness System.
Updated safe locations can be found in the flight attendant tablet by visiting Document Library, selecting UNICEF and then Safe Locations.
The logbook system has been instated at every UNICEF Change for Good base to ensure that everyone collecting for Change for Good is a registered UNICEF Champion for Children. When requesting for collection bags, the Crew Service Center will verify you as a registered Champion. Once you receive the bags, you will sign logbooks at the duty desk and at the safe where you deposit the collection bag.
A Buddy Witness is another Champion for Children, Flight Attendant or other crew member who serves as a witness to a Champion sealing the donation bag immediately following their Change for Good collection[s].
The Champion and Buddy Witness both sign the back of the bag on the designated signature lines.
If there is a return flight after an overnight layover, the Champion must show the original Buddy Witness the same, sealed, signed bag from the outbound flight.
The Champion must offer to the crew the opportunity to accompany them to the UNICEF safe. The crew also has the right to permit the Champion to drop the collection bag off at the UNICEF safe by themselves.
This procedure is in place to ensure the integrity of the program and to protect Champions. For more details on this procedure, in the flight attendant tablet, go to Document Library / UNICEF / Buddy Witness System.
Due to heightened security nationwide, CBP and TSA staff may be required to further inspect your UNICEF collection bag at customs or security. On these rare occasions, do not be alarmed – it is the result of either a random selection or an abnormality detected by the X-ray. Normally the issue is resolved after a quick inspection of the bag.
Email email@example.com if there is an unresolved issue with CBP or TSA.
The money is safely stored until it is shipped to a currency processor managed by UNICEF USA. Once the processor receives the donations, the money is counted and a monthly wire transfer is sent to UNICEF USA. Change for Good collections are never deposited into any kind of account.
All cash donations made to Change for Good are processed in bulk, which means that UNICEF USA is unable to provide passengers with tax-deductible acknowledgements. Passengers who donate via U.S. check will received a tax-deductible acknowledgement letter from UNICEF USA.
In addition to international flights, there is one domestic route that Champions for Children can collect on: all flights to and from Hawaii. Champions can also advocate domestically within the United States. Register to be a Champion on Jetnet to stay informed on upcoming local activations and events.
Yes. One in-flight Change for Good collection can be logged as one volunteer hour.
Once an American Airlines employee has logged 50 volunteer hours through the Flights for 50 program, they can donate 25,000 miles to UNICEF USA — or another charity of their choice with 501(c)(3) status.
To donate 25,000 miles to UNICEF USA, sign in to Jetnet, select Get Involved from the top menu, then Flights for 50. Complete the form with the following:
Organization name: UNICEF USA
TAX ID#: 13-1760110
Address: 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038
While collections are made year-round, Champions for Children are encouraged to show their support especially for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF (October) and World Children’s Day (November 20). Updates on engagements are announced in the Champions for Children private Facebook group and via email, which registered Champions are opted into automatically.
Another way to support UNICEF is to host a fundraiser on social media. Supporters have created baby shower, birthday and work anniversary fundraisers.
One way to connect to other Champions for Children is to join the Champions for Children Facebook community. Log in to Facebook, go to the private Facebook group UNICEF Champions for Children page and ask to join.
All registered Champions for Children receive an invite to join this group.
Does American Airlines get a tax credit or tax deduction for monies collected to support UNICEF through Change for Good?
American Airlines receives no tax incentives or other form of financial benefit from Champions for Children’s efforts. Every cent goes to UNICEF USA to support lifesaving programs for children.
No. American Airlines receives no financial benefit from Champions for Children’s efforts.
Since Change for Good funds are collected by flight attendant volunteers (Champions for Children) what is American Airlines’ role in the program?
American Airlines’ participation includes having a designated registration page on their internal employee site, promoting the program to flight attendants and customers, uploading program videos to aircrafts, allowing for collections and PAs to be made on flights, making collection bags and safes available at the Crew Service Center offices and co-hosting the annual Change for Good Champions of the Year recognition ceremony with UNICEF USA.
Learn more about the American Airline and UNICEF partnership.
Please report specific concerns to Professional Standards (+1 817 540 0108, aa.ethicspoint.com, the APFA) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reporters will remain anonymous and appropriate Professional Standards action will be taken.
To help ensure accountability, Champions for Children must follow the Buddy Witness System for deposits of UNICEF collections.
On occasion, we hear concerns about inappropriate behavior and address it with the flight attendant in question. In many cases, the flight attendant responds that he/she was unaware of procedures.
There is a Professional Standards protocol through the APFA for the UNICEF Change for Good on American Airlines program.
The APFA and American Airlines provide support to cases and help make sure that all collections end up where they belong: with UNICEF USA.
To report concerns, contact email@example.com.
From December 2006 through 2012, Airline Ambassadors International, along with APFA and the Oneworld Alliance, supported the relaunch of UNICEF Change for Good on American Airlines and introduced the Champions for Children employee volunteer program.